Too Much Water Can Kill!


| 6 Comments

            As far as I can remember people have always said that water was a major part of life in general; any living thing needs water to survive.  After seeing the words "water intoxication" I didn't know what to expect because it just seems impossible to me. I always imagined intoxication as something that was affiliated with drugs and alcohol. I never thought drinking too much water could kill you and when I first read the Woman Dies After Drinking Contest article, I was distraught, which lead me to my research. I'm not saying that taking sips of water throughout the day to stay hydrated is going to kill you; I'm talking about people chugging excessive amounts of water in very little time. Mainly what I think about are people who are trying to flush their system for whatever reason that may be.

            As seen in this article on about.com, water intoxication is more likely to happen to infants or athletes. This makes sense since babies are very delicate and if you give them a bottle they will just drink all of it and they are unable to determine when enough is enough. In the about.com article it talks about how sometimes bottles can be diluted too much causing water intoxication. So if the infant's parent mixed the babies formula wrong it could lead to water intoxication. On the other hand for athlete's, I remember growing up and my coaches telling me during my time outs to take sips of my water instead of taking large gulps. My coaches could never really explain why sipping was necessary but I believe water intoxication could be a factor of this whether they knew it or not.

            According to Runner's World, studies have shown that 13 percent of runners in the 2002 Boston Marathon have suffered symptoms from over hydration. In the Runner's World article it talks about how many runners believed in the 1980's that drinking excessive amounts of water would help them in marathons but in reality it was hurting them and they were suffering water intoxication. By the looks of it your body knows how much water it needs and when it needs it. Basically what they are saying is that you should not force yourself to drink water if your body is not telling you that you need it.

            Although it is very uncommon for water intoxication to happen it's still something to think about. I know somebody who has tried to flush their system before because they didn't want to get in trouble with the cops, which is a pretty dumb thing to do because they can tell. Also, the water intoxication side of it could lead to death. We're all getting older as well and will most likely start a family in a few years, if you had a child would you worry about giving your baby too much water? Or what if you're a coach for little league or something, would you warn the children to take sips of their water rather than just let them chug a whole water bottle? Would you take this into consideration or am I just panicking too much?

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6 Comments

It’s great that you brought up one of the most important components of water intoxication- the fact that a massive amount of water has to be consumed in a short period of time in order for you to be affected. It’s a common misconception that you can end up suffering from water intoxication if you drink a great amount of water in general, which is not the case. I feel that when people first learn about water intoxication, that’s what they immediately think. I even thought that when my 7th grade science teacher told my class that there is, in fact, such a thing as drinking too much water. Most don’t understand that unless you’re chugging enormous jugs of water, one after the other water, all in one shot, you most likely won’t be affected by water intoxication.

Also, I didn’t know how easy it is for babies to suffer from water intoxication. It’s weird to think that while it’s relatively difficult for the average sized person to suffer from water intoxication, it’s rather simple to accidently give your baby too much water. This Q&A article goes more in depth about water intoxication in infants! It brings up some really valid facts about their bodies’ reaction to water!

http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/is-it-safe-for-babies-to-drink-water/?_r=0

It's crazy to think that something that makes up 66% of our body and is responsible for maintaining our stability can also kill us. In the article from Scientific American, Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill, it discusses how drinking too much water in a short period of time can actually kill you. "Earlier this year, a 28-year-old California woman died after competing in a radio station's on-air water-drinking contest. After downing some six liters of water in three hours in the "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" (Nintendo game console) contest, Jennifer Strange vomited, went home with a splitting headache, and died from so-called water intoxication." This story proves that drinking water too fast can cause death. I never thought of this before but reading further made it clearer. The kidney's are in control of the amount of water, salts, and other solutes leaving the body. If a person drinks too much water in a short period of time the kidney's cannot flush it out fast enough and the blood becomes "waterlogged." Essentially, the water is drowning the organ and there is not enough time to save it. This idea is pretty scary but can easily be avoided. Water is sometimes that everyone should be drinking everyday, but it normal increments.

Your article reminded me of an article that might be on one of our tests, where Andrew asks at the end, is this something a rational person would do/avoid/take into consideration? While water intoxication can be very damaging to your health, it is highly unlikely that it would happen. Most people are actually dehydrated on any given day. I'm not sure why it's so difficult for people in our country to find the balance between dehydration and water intoxication, but clearly things like drinking water contests can get in the way of that. This article by U.S. News explains just how much water humans should have before they are either dangerously dehydrated or overhydrated. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2013/09/13/the-truth-about-how-much-water-you-should-really-drink

When reading your post I was very surprised at the fact that one can "overdose" on water. When researching the topic I found that it is called "Water Intoxication" and that when you drink the obsessive amount of water you can literally drowned yourself from the inside out!! How terrible of a thought is that? My question is how does this happen? The answer I found is that it is easier to occur in babies. When they are drinking their baby formula, if the substance is too diluted they can be intaking too much water. What then happens it that from that they are essentially "washing away" important electrologists and other important necessities to function in the body , meaning that athletes too need to be careful by their water consumption. Other effects leading to Water intoxication are

- Electrolyte imbalance
- Tissue swelling
- Fluid entering the lungs
- Fluttering eyelids
-Swelling pressure on the nerves and the brain
The swelling of the brain tissue causes seizers and eventually a coma then leading to death.

For me it was very bazaar to think go H2o as a poison but its true that anything you put into your body can be very dangerous if it is in a dangerous amount of excess. This website http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-drinking-too-much-water-can-kill is very interesting in explaining how water can indeed be a poison if used in the wrong way.

I'm the kind of person that always needs to have some sort of water bottle on them at all times. If I don't, I feel claustrophobic & like I am trapped. However, I have heard that too much can also be extremely detrimental to a person. Specifically with drugs such as molly or ecstasy, people consume large amounts of water because of the fear of dehydration. However in 1995 a woman died from over-consumption of water while on the drug, Ecstasy.
Read more here:http://www.urban75.com/Drugs/drugxtc1.html

Our body consists mainly of water and I think because of this, people think they need to drown themselves in it!

This article in Men's Health talks about some signs of overhydration:

"Symptoms include confusion, headaches, nausea and bloating—stuff that’s easily confused with dehydration. In severe cases, hyponatremia can lead to seizures, organ failure and even death."

http://www.menshealth.com/health/overhydration-dangers


I don't drink enough water during the day and I can feel the effects it has on my body. I don't think I have ever overhydrated, but now that I see it can be bad for you, I will not be trying it out haha!

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